Workspaces & Windows 2021
With the intent to build equity and expand cultural inclusion throughout Southeast Queens, Jamaica Flux strives to commission and present art that involves the local community and creates changes in behavior and policy while also documenting the developments and contradictions that arise in the process. Informed by the local economy, history, cultural traditions, community stakeholders, and participating artists, Jamaica Flux 2021 is dedicated to advancing research and visual and performative actions that foster social change, critical public discourse on advocacy, policy change, economic growth, collective civic action, and community engagement. The project aims to bring artists, local residents, curators, scholars, community leaders, developers, and politicians together to catalyze the transformative power of the visual arts, building on the cultural legacy of Jamaica while addressing the challenges of a quickly growing local economy.
Jamaica is a formerly dis-invested community that is on the cusp of dramatic change. The de Blasio administration’s Jamaica Planning Initiative aims to make the downtown area a showplace for its place-based, community-oriented housing and economic development policies. The Jamaica Rezoning Plan, approved in 2017, has further stimulated the private investment and the rise of several global chain hotels and businesses that are gearing up to open in the next few years. These developments have precipitated a critical time of rapid change in Jamaica as a neighborhood.
Success from past editions of Jamaica Flux includes raising dialogues within the local community on urban development, wellness, education, traditional or interdisciplinary art forms, fair trade issues, and small business development. Throughout the past four iterations, artists have undertaken diverse projects, from large-scale public installations, including an environmental oasis in a former litter depot; to interactive projects, including workshops on potato ecology, SAT tutoring, CGI/AR videos, walking audio tours, and mobile paper-making on the street; to paintings acquired by restaurants after the exhibition’s run. Participating artists and collectives from previous iterations of Jamaica Flux (2004, 2007, 2010, 2016) include Alicia Grullón, Lily & Honglei, Christopher K. Ho, Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer, Center for Urban Pedagogy, John Locke & Joaquin Reyes, Olu Oguibe, Michael Rakowitz, Hank Willis Thomas, Juana Valdes, and Saya Woolfalk, among many others.
Open Call Description
Jamaica Flux: Workspaces and Windows 2021 seeks proposals from artists to research the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, in 2020 for the presentation, and possible creation, of new, site-specific, public art projects that engage the local community in 2021.
Artists will receive $500 for their research that involves dialogue and collaboration with local businesses, sites, and/or social organizations around Jamaica Avenue. Research outputs (drawings, renderings, photographs, video, text, interviews, maquettes, mark-ups et. al) will be exhibited in the Miller Gallery at the Jamaica Arts Center, from May 14 through July 10th 2021.
Depending on available funding, the artists will receive additional support of up to $2,500 to materialize their visions of creating new, site-specific, public artworks, and present their project to the public in the physical site proposed, along with related programming in 2021. A published print catalog will be produced and distributed both on- and offline following the exhibition in 2021.
With dedicated support for under-recognized artists and disenfranchised arts communities, a total of 15 artist research projects that meaningfully explore the themes of Jamaica Flux will be selected by the Curatorial Team, with support from an Art Advisory and Community Committee. Selected artists will be required to attend three meetings with the Jamaica Flux team and a variety of community members for research guidance from June to December 2020 (meeting dates TBD).
Conceptual rigor, artistic quality, and potential impact
Feasibility of the proposed research and creation of the final artwork
The ability of the artist to conduct the proposed research in the set timeline
Ability and availability of the artist to attend three research meetings (starting June to December 2020) & engage/collaborate with the site, community, and audience
Significance of the work for the community and contemporary art, especially as an agent for social change
Potential benefits of participating in this commission for the artist
Potential contributions of the artist’s proposed activity to the project as a whole
All artists living in New York City are eligible – regardless of age, gender, or nationality. All media is welcomed.
Open Call Period: Feb. 1–Mar. 28, 2020
Deadline: March 28th, 2020 11:59PM